A no-deal scenario in Brexit negotiations is ‘more likely than ever before’, EU President Donald Tusk warned Monday, ahead of a crunch summit in Brussels billed as a crucial moment for planning Britain’s exit from the bloc.
In a letter to members of the European Council, Tusk said that while he encouraged all involved to “remain hopeful and determined… at the same time, responsible as we are, we must prepare the EU for a no-deal scenario, which is more likely than ever before”.
Tusk’s comments are in contrast to those of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who said he still believed a no-deal scenario was “unlikely”, as the consequences could be potentially catastrophic for the UK.
Varadkar said the talks were at a “sensitive phase” and he was “absolutely sure” that the British government “is motivated to ensure” we do not end up in a no-deal situation.
It comes as British Prime Minister Theresa May said that a Brexit deal was still achievable, despite talks becoming deadlocked on the issue of the Irish border.
Updating MPs at the House of Commons today, she said that Britain and the EU should not allow their disagreements over the border to leave the two sides facing a no-deal Brexit.
“We cannot let this disagreement derail the prospects of a good deal and leave us with a no-deal outcome that no-one wants,” May told parliament.
However, she said that she still believes that no deal was better than a bad deal. She said she was still working for what she believes was the “best outcome, which is a good, negotiated deal”.